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April 16, 2024

County Commission race has four candidates


John Whisnant, age 59 of Taylorsville, filed last week as the fourth and final candidate for the two open seats in the Alexander County Commission election for 2024. All are Republicans.

Whisnant is a 1982 Hickory High School graduate. He joined the military directly out of school and received the US Army Commendation Medal.

Whisnant served as administrator for 20 years at Blessed Hope School for Children, “taking at-risk children into my home, and pointing them to our only Hope, Jesus Christ. I feel Christ is the only Hope for every need. Having worked in this capacity, I am acquainted with the concerns parents have for their children to have a safe community, and schools that address their needs.”

He is currently employed as an auto body technician.

Whisnant and his wife, Crystal, have three children, Lauren Paris, Danielle Gilreath, and Jake Whisnant, and five grandchildren. Whisnant is a member of Oxford Baptist Church. He is currently involved with Liberty First Grassroots, a “unified group of individuals working towards election integrity and government transparency, also working to support constitutional conservative candidates that show integrity and concern for towns, counties and state in which they live.”

He noted the following is his aim for the county: “My vision for Alexander County is seeing leadership that cares and addresses the concerns of the people. I feel there are concerns that have been voiced within the community and our concerns have been dismissed or issues skirted. I feel it is important to address the concerns with truth, transparency, commitment to community and involvement, and that will build trust which is lacking in many areas of government from municipal and local governments and up. As a Republican conservative with strong Christian values, I am committed to work towards building that trust within the community. By working not only with leadership, but having a willingness to work, to get the answers to the questions the citizens of Alexander County are seeking, concerning them.”

When asked why citizens should vote for him, Whisnant said, “I feel I am in touch with the heart of our county and our citizens. The citizens of this county desire truth and transparency about where their tax dollars are being distributed, honesty about the shortfalls and open sincere dialogue about what efforts are being made to change this. I feel parents want effective leadership in school administration, financial accountability concerning school funding. The Schools received millions in Esser funds and parents deserve to know how that money was spent, and who received that money and with such a huge monetary amount given, why so little has been spent on the actual needs within the schools for children. This is important especially in light of a recent audit, talk of closing schools, reducing staff, and needs to do fund raising. I intend to ask the questions and seek the answers, if elected.”

He faces three other filers: Brigette Rhyne, Kent Herman, and Josh Lail.

Alexander County Board of Education member Brigette Rhyne, 55, owns Brigette’s Staffing, Inc., in Taylorsville. Her political background includes having been elected to four terms on the Alexander County Board of Education, on which she has served since 2008.

Incumbent Republicans Kent Herman, 66, of Ellendale, and Josh Lail, 46, of Bethlehem, filed for re-election in the 2024 Election as Alexander County Commissioners.

Herman was elected in 2022 to fill the remainder of the late Jeff Peal’s unserved term. He served on the Alexander County Soil and Water Board for more than 23 years, and has helped run Herman Dairy Farm, Inc., with his family since 1979.

Lail, local home builder and real estate agent, has served on the Alexander County Board of Education for two terms (2004-2012) and as an Alexander County Commissioner for two terms (2014-2018 and 2020-2024).

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